the '90s, the victims of such attacks included judges and doctors caught up in
the 'culture war' on abortion, gay rights, etc. Does the Tucson massacre signal
the beginning of a new wave of political violence?"
America has never lacked
deranged, frustrated types like Jared Laughner, who take
their revenge for a lack of success by shooting other people - and easy access
to firearms makes it possible. Usually, however, they shoot indiscriminately,
often at their own family and themselves. It's been a long time since
politicians were targets of their fury. The last time was the turbulent '60s in
the last century, when President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert and Martin
Luther King Jr. were killed by assassins’ bullets. During the '90s, the victims
of such attacks included judges and doctors caught up in the “culture war” on
abortion, gay rights, etc. Does the Tucson massacre signal the beginning of a
new wave of political violence?
Warning signs preceded the shooting
on Saturday. Arizona has been close to the boiling point for months, after its adoption
of a law against illegal immigrants [SB 1070]. As elsewhere,
a battle over health care reform was fought there, a topic on which the
ultra-right Tea Party movement is not afraid to say what it thinks: its
candidate in neighboring Nevada, Sharon Angle, suggested that “Second
Amendment remedies" (right to bear arms) might be necessary. The office
of Congresswoman Giffords, now fighting for her life after the shooting, became a
target of attack after she supported health reform. Right-wing idol Sarah Palin
called them to “reload” their weapons in the clash with Democrats. That did
much to heat up the media atmosphere. Conservative Fox News channel hosts
Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck rant against President Obama, presenting him as a krypto-communist.
Left-leaning MSNBC’s commentators then respond and the unfortunate game
of attrition continues. It's hard to imagine that Loughner was impervious to such
an atmosphere, since he knew who he was trying to shoot - even if he doesn't
quite understand what his act is supposed to stand for.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
Since the attack, many
appeals have been heard to calm the divisive rhetoric. Until things get back to
normal, we can expect mutual politeness to continue. The rhetoric of hate and
violence is in fact a reflection of the sharp divisions in contemporary
America: fear of the country’s future and frustration with politicians who are unable
to subdue forces beyond their control. In the short term, the Tucson massacre
may harm Republicans, since two years ago it was their party that unleashed the
spiral of anger against the “un-American” president and his supporters.
Help Support Worldmeets.us
Worldmeets.us is a non-partisan, volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that operates solely in the public interest. The opinions expressed in articles posted by Worldmeets.us are not necessarily those of Worldmeets.us, its sponsors or its volunteers.